The International Way of Identification
Electronic Identity (eID), also digital or electronic identification, are digital proofs of identity of citizens or organizations and the EU Digital Identity (ID) Wallet will simplify the way people are identified in every EU country in every aspect of their life, making all kinds of processes and daily life much easier and simpler.
The simplest eIDs are with login and password to prove the identity of citizens or organizations on a low level of security. A higher security level can be achieved via issued eIDs by a certified governmental organization. Characteristics of an eID are: eID registration number, surname, first name, date of birth, gender, place of birth, nationality and an additional facial image for security improvement.
An eID can be used to access services offered by government agencies, banks and other organizations, businesses such as for example for online or mobile payments, official services and more. In addition to online authentication and login, many eID services also offer users the option of digitally signing electronic documents (electronic signature). eIDs can be stored as apps on mobile devices, Electronic Identification Cards (eIC), eID cards, bank cards (BankIDs), other chip cards, or in some countries the identity cards. According to the EU eIDAS regulation from 2018, all organizations providing public digital services in an EU member state will accept electronic identification, issued in each of the EU member states.
The Italian Public Digital Identity System
The Italian public digital identity system (Sistema Pubblico di Identità Digitale, SPID) is the unique system of access with digital identity to the online services of the Italian public administration and private adherents. Citizens and businesses can access these services with a unique digital identity that allows them to be accessed and used from any device. SPID satisfies the need to have a single set of credentials capable of guaranteeing access to any web service. A simple system for the end user, standardized at national level which can be integrated into the European system.
The SPID identity is obtained by making a request to one of the identity providers (digital identity managers), which can be freely chosen from those authorized by the Agency for Digital Italy (AgID). SPID is part of the system defined by the EU eIDAS regulation. In addition to the functions provided by eIDAS at a European level, the Italian innovation is the possibility of its use to digitally sign documents (SPID signature), which has allowed the digital signing of referendum proposals.
The EU Digital Identity (ID) Wallet is a European approach which aims to enable a unified digital identification system in Europe. It will allow European citizens to securely store their documents and personal information in an app (wallet). These documents and information include far more than just ID cards or driver’s licenses, but also medical records, bank cards or even university degrees. Collectively, this data will be able to create a global digital EU identity for every citizen, which they can use in all member states.
Industry Use Cases and Highlights
By using their eIDs, citizens can access public services that require authentication and are made available to entities such as the state pension system, the tax authority, municipal services and, in general, central and local government services.
In some EU countries, eIDs allow citizens to authenticate with health portals and access their health records, view and download prescriptions, diagnostic test reports and other health-related documents. Doctors can also access their medical records if the patient has granted them the appropriate rights.
Proof of Identity
eID is one of the strongest forms of proof of identity and can be used to meet Know-Your-Customer (KYC) requirements in industries such as banking, insurance, telecom, gambling and many other regulated industries.
eID can be also used to identify a natural person and issue a Qualified Electronic Certificate (QEC) for electronic signature.
Identity and Access Management (IAM) for Private Services
eID can be used by a private company to offload its IAM and thus shift the responsibility for identity management to the identity provider.
Electronic Identity Benefits
- Increased IT security
- Enhanced employee productivity
- Lower IT costs
- Faster processes
- Better traceability through management and administration functions
- Minimized risk of data breaches
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